Sour Cream Coffee Cake

from the coffee shop to your kitchen

Kramer and I had a bit too much fun last night, but that’s okay. We went out to the Good Beer event hosted by Edible Manhattan, where we ate and drank to our hearts’ content (and then some). My favorite, Mile End Deli, was there, along with others, such as The Meat Hook and This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef (possibly Kramer’s favorite). I also discovered some new places to fall in love with, like Fort Reno, who had incredibly overfilled (and incredibly tasty) duck sliders with spicy pickled vegetables. The beers are an entirely different story in that I can’t even begin to tell you which I liked best. They were all really interesting, specifically a sour beer that we had. I can’t remember where from, but it was almost like a cocktail in beer form. It was great to meet some new people, enjoy all sorts of offerings from all over the city, and best of all, be home before 10 PM. I’d call that a win-win-win all around.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

More importantly, though, is this Sour Cream Coffee Cake. It comes, of course, from my favorite cookbook: Baked. I know that they have others, but this one really takes the cake (haw haw haw). I’ve written about it dozens of times, from their Root Beer Bundt Cake to their Bourbon Pecan Pie to their Banana Cupcakes, but contrary to what you may think, nobody is paying me to say these things (but everyone has their price – hear that, Baked?) – I just love the book. Truth be told, I’m running out of recipes from this one, so I may have to go out and purchase one of the other two soon, but for now, let’s stick with what we know. This coffee cake is incredible. It’s not too sweet, with a buttery crumb topping and a tender, moist crumb (no doubt thanks to the sour cream…or in my case, yogurt). I didn’t have sour cream in my refrigerator, but I did have Greek yogurt, which isn’t too different from the intended ingredient at all. Greek yogurt is thick and tangy, so I figured, hey, let’s use that. It turned out wonderfully, if I don’t say so myself. Kramer and I had a bit of trouble not wolfing all of these down, but I managed to save enough to bring to both of our offices where they were met with happy, hungry bellies early on a Monday morning. Perfect with coffee or tea, at the beginning of the day or at its end, this coffee cake really hits the spot.

Amazing sandwich from JoeDoe.

The clear winner of the evening – chicken gizzard and lamb bacon skewers from Mile End Deli. Be still my beating (and soon to be clogged) heart.

Delicious shrimp roll from Luke’s Lobster.

Making sandwiches with Melt Shop.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Your ingredients.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Whisk together your dry crumb topping ingredients, then cut the butter in.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Cover until ready to use.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Whisk together your cinnamon swirl mixture and set aside.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Beat together your butter and sugar, then add in your eggs, sour cream (or Greek yogurt), followed by the dry ingredients for your cake, until just moistened.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Spread 1/3 of your batter into the pan, followed by half of your swirl mixture, then another 1/3 batter, and the rest of your swirl mixture.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Top with the remaining batter.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Then cover with the crumb topping. Bake for 1 hour, until set.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Serve with a cup of coffee, tea, or ice cold milk.


Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 25 pieces
A diner style sour cream coffee cake for breakfast or a snack.
For the Crumb Topping:
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup pecans, toasted (optional - I omitted these)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1-inch cubes
For the Chocolate Cinnamon Swirl:
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the Cake:
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2½ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 16 ounces sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the Crumb Topping:
  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter into pieces and add it to the mixture. Cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter, a fork, or your hands. Continue until coarse crumbs form. Roughly chop your pecans, add them, and stir to combine. You can also use a food processor to do this, if you like. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Chocolate Cinnamon Swirl:
  1. Whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon. Set aside until ready to use.
For the Cake:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a 9x13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, then spray with nonstick spray or butter until well greased. SEt aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat your butter until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, then add in the granulated sugar, beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, incorporating each one before adding in the next.
  3. Add in the sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add in the combined flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, a bit at a time, until just moistened. Be careful not to overmix.
  4. Spread ⅓ of the batter into your pan (it might be a bit thick, but that's okay, just work with a greased spatula), then sprinkle half of the cinnamon swirl mixture over the batter. Pour another ⅓ of the batter over that, then sprinkle the rest of the swirl mixture, followed by the remaining ⅓ of the batter. Top with the crumb topping.
  5. Bake for 1 hour, rotating the pan every 20 minutes or so, until the crumb is golden and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool before cutting into squares. This well keep well, at room temperature in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.
Adapted From


13 Responses

  1. I love sour cream coffee cake. This looks so amazing. I am also a huge fan of Baked recipes. The best recipe is the pumpkin whoopie pies. Oh my, those are one of the best things I ever have and probably ever will make.

  2. I have a ton of Greek yogurt in my fridge, and the rest of those ingredients in my pantry… and 3 hours until I have to leave for work. Sounds like fate to me! I love that the cinnamon runs through the middle of the cake, too. Mmmm!

    Those grilled-cheese-looking Melt Shop sandwiches look amazing, too. Living the life!

  3. Laura L. says:

    Oh man…all that food looks awesome!!! My mouth is watering…

    And I’ve never made coffee cake but I think I am totally trying this recipe and soon. You had me at “chocolate cinnamon swirl”.

    Hahaha…I’m still giggling at your “Be still my beating (and soon to be clogged) heart.” comment.

  4. I’m not sure that there is much better in this world than sour cream coffee cake. Thanks for this recipe!

  5. Molly says:

    I have a friend who just had a baby and I’m in charge of bringing dinner over on Friday. I thought I’d also chip in breakfast – we always think to bring dinner to people but there are AT LEAST two other meals in the day that need attention.

    Anyway – I’m bringing this. I’ve got it all on hand and I’m excited. Great recipe as always – and thanks for swinging by my blog, Syndey!

  6. Lynna says:

    Ooo… I love coffee cake! ♥ & Glad you guys had so much funnn!!

  7. I need that shrimp roll in my life! And this coffee cake! :)

  8. Alicia says:

    Love the idea of combining the chocolate and cinnamon!

  9. Dana says:

    Sour cream coffee cake has always been my favorite member of the coffee cake family. So good!

    (Also, I want a bite of that shrimp roll! Ok, maybe two…)

  10. Deb says:

    Ok, I really need to order “Baked”. It’s on my ever growing cookbook wish list…. The Coffee Cake would be amazing for a lazy weekend brunch. Thanks for sharing!

  11. penelope says:

    Just happened to have a tub of sour cream in the fridge that needed using; ergo, this cake! I replaced the cinnamon with an equal amount of freshly ground coffee, made the cake smell heavenly and the taste was nice and subtle.

    The cake itself I found to be ok, but the real star is the crumb coating. Definitely going to add this to other cakes! I see it doing well on a banana loaf, mmmm. Thanks for the recipe :)

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  13. Janae says:

    I have just made the cake and so far it looks amazing!! This cake has been a family favorite for years. Every christmas its at our house and for my mothers and uncles birthday! So to find a recipe just as good as my grandmothers is a treasure. (:

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